SALT CITY & GEUDA SPRINGS.
1872: Earnest Reiman laid out and platted “Remanto.”
Remanto was located one-half mile south of town that became Salt City,
Sumner County, Kansas.
1874: Salt City laid out by Messrs. Mills and Foster.
Hotel established by Mills.
1876: Todd & Royal, of Wichita, became proprietors of Salt City.
1882: Salt City becomes Geuda Springs.
The first building in the new town of Geuda Springs, Kansas, was erected by an Indian woman of the Sac & Fox tribe. The main street was called Central Avenue. It ran north and south and was the dividing line between Sumner and Cowley counties. All of the business portion of Geuda Springs was located on the west side of the street in Sumner County. A portion on the west side was incorporated: they had a mayor and city council, with good sidewalks, and other improvements. On the east side of Central Avenue there was merely a village.
THE GEUDA SPRINGS.
The first white men to see these springs were a party of buffalo hunters who in March 1867 came upon a band of nearly five hundred Osage Indians camped near them and using the water in many ways, apparently for medicinal purposes. These hunters tried the waters themselves and discovered they had a different taste from most water and that they were not altogether pleasant. No further investigations were made at that time, although the location of the springs and their use by the Indians were reported by the party in many towns in the eastern part of Kansas.
The Osages, Sac and Fox, Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapahos, Cherokees, and Poncas were frequent visitors to “Geuda Springs,” each tribe having a different name in their own language for the springs, but all meaning the same thing, “healing” or “curing.”
Before the springs were touched by the white man, they were not separated. They flowed in one common stream into a large circular pool, described by one of the oldest settlers as the “mud hole.”
Being so far from the nearest settlements, the springs were used by Indians only until 1870 when W. J. Walpole, a civil engineer, found several salt-beds and springs in addition to the mineral springs. He proved up on the land in July 1872 as a pre-emption. Walpole filed March 8, 1873, on 156.75 acres by Patent from the United States of America on the fractional Southwest quarter of Section 6, in Township 34 South, of Range 3 East.
As applicants for patents often did, Mr. Walpole sold to Brainard Goff, Jr., of Cowley County, Kansas, one-half acre of land near the large salt spring. Somehow a record of this sale was not completed and it was involved in the litigations held of this property in 1916.
Following Mr. Goff, there were many claims for the land containing the springs.
The land was mortgaged in 1872 for $240.00. I. C. Loomis held the mortgage.
W. J. Walpole of Denison, Texas, issued his power of attorney to H. O. Meigs on February 13, 1873. I. C. Loomis and his wife, Harriet R. Loomis, assigned their power of attorney to Samuel Hoyt. Their Mortgage was released March 13, 1873.
In 1873-1874 attorneys representing Walpole, Loomis, and others were busy making loans and releasing mortgages.
1874: E. P. Kinne and H. O. Meigs purchased one acre near Salt City for $500, containing the sulphur springs.
1876: W. J. Walpole, by H. O. Meigs, attorney in fact, sold mortgage for sulphur springs to David J. Bright for $516.37.
The Indians would not stay off the land that Bright bought. He soon sold it.
1878: Bright again purchases the Springs. He paid $585.00.
Bright is sued by Mary H. Buck. He hired Hackney & McDonald to handle the suit, which started in April 1878. In order to pay them, the property he owned containing the springs was transferred to Hackney & McDonald. The case was later dismissed.
Mr. Hackney and Mr. McDonald were the first to start improvements on the springs. They cleared the area and piped the seven springs into an area with steps leading down to them. They fenced in the 25 foot area where the springs bubbled up. They built a bath house, and covered the springs with a very nice spring house. Unfortunately, their busy practice prevented them from continuing development of the springs.
1879: Hackney & McDonald sell Springs to C. R. Mitchell for $4,000. They made a profit of $3,500 on the sale.
On August 18, 1879, Clinton R. Mitchell and Mary E. Mitchell, his wife, sold to Albert A. Newman an undivided one-half of the entire quarter for $3,000.
Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Newman had several mortgages on the land and continued making improvements. They built a bath house, cemented the floor of the spring area, and built a two-story building over them.
Winfield Courier, September 18, 1879.
[From correspondent: Mrs. H. P. Mansfield, Winfield, Kansas.]
SNOW HILL, SALT CITY, KS., Sept. 12th, 1879.
Yesterday Mitchell and Newman came up with shovels, forks, rods, and pipes, to play in the springs, and upon drawing an auger attached to a rod 20 feet long from a spring which had the old pipe, stones were thrown out as large as a goose-egg, which had every appearance of having been melted by extreme heat. What these gentlemen will accomplish they themselves do not know, but it will take a small fortune to employ competent men to put things in order, to make a paying investment. Then look out for a nickle a glass for this medicinal water. Better all come this year, while you can pitch your tent anywhere, wear calico dresses, dispense with cosmetics, shoot birds, and romp to your heart’s content.
1880: Geuda Springs becomes a popular place to visit.
Picnic at Geuda Springs.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 28, 1880.
Life’s chequered path is full of woe
And perils beset us wherever we go.
The above is apropos of an adventure which befell a party of ladies and gentlemen from this city who were enjoying a picnic in the immediate vicinity of the sanatorium and baths recently built by Newman & Mitchell on the borders of that modern Siloam—Salt Springs. The dramatis personae at this matinee were Mrs. Hutchins, of Iowa, Mrs. Bonsall, Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Bird, and several visitors from Ohio, who one and all did themselves very much proud by the manner in which they rendered their respective parts of this serio-comic escapade.
All were comfortably seated around the orthodox picnic board and reveling in the natural beauties of this classic spot, yet not so absorbed as to prevent them enjoying the goodly comestibles, which were rapidly disappearing before appetites sharpened by a three hours’ ride in a Kansas zephyr.
Suddenly their affrighted gaze beheld a cloud of inky blackness, here and there rent by forked tongues of flame, which rushing forward with frightful velocity seemed to hiss and crackle in anticipation of the holocaust about to be offered up. The wildest confusion ensued; gentlemen rushed frantically to the rescue of their teams, while the ladies grabbed promiscuously for queensware and rent the air with shrieks of dire distress. ’Tis always darkest just before dawn, and so in this case, when hope had almost fled and the inevitable was about to be accepted, the raging element sprang towards its prey, but the grass gave out and it sank to rise no more.
Lunch was resumed and each one admitted that collectively there had been somewhat of a scare but insisted that individually it required something more than an ordinary prairie fire to make them start.
1881: On September 13, 1881, Albert A. Newman and Mary M. Newman, his wife, sold to Clinton R. Mitchell his undivided one-half of the property for $10,000. This left Mr. Mitchell the sole owner of the land except for the one-half acre that Mr. Walpole sold to Mr. Goff in 1871 so that Goff could make salt.